Platini upset by Porto decision

UEFA president Michel Platini has slammed his organisation’s decision to allow Porto back into the Champions League.

Porto, who won the competition in 2004 under Jose Mourinho, were banned from next season’s tournament after they were found guilty of trying to bribe domestic referees during the 2003/04 campaign.

However, the Portuguese champions’ ban from the competition was later overturned by UEFA’s appeals body pending a new hearing, something which Platini believed should never have happened.

“As UEFA president I’m not happy at all with their inclusion in the Champions League,” he said. “And I clearly state that.

“UEFA, under my mandate, will fight to the death against corruption.

“It might be their right, but I don’t think that it is the spirit.

“If a team has been punished by their federation, who are under UEFA, for corruption then they should not be able to compete in a European competition.”

Platini also expressed his concern at the amount of rising debt even the top clubs are getting into.

The two-time World Player of the year claimed that in future UEFA would come down hard on clubs that owed hefty sums – an decision that could have seen European Champions Manchester United banned from the Champions League last season.

“UEFA are going to fight very seriously to restrict entry to its competitions from clubs that are in debt,” added Platini.

“I’m not only talking about English teams such as Chelsea or Manchester United, who reached the Champions League final with a huge debt, I’m talking in general.

“It’s a problem that grabs my heart. Four or five years from now we have to have sorted the situation out, with co-operation from clubs and national associations.”

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